PART THREE - GAS STATION
Noting that the fuel gauge on his pick-up truck was reading less than half full, Vampifan decided to stop at the nearest gas station on his way home and top up the gas tank. There was a queue of traffic waiting to get served, but it wasn't too long to wait before Vampifan reached the pumps.
I had to roll 2d6 against Vampifan's Rep on the Get There table (see p.4 of the Day One scenario) and he passed 1d6. Travelling by vehicle meant he had to compare the destination number (in this case, 3) with his Rep. If it was lower (it was) he counted as passing 2d6. This meant that he was not delayed in arriving at his destination. So far, so good.
The above photo shows another part of Central Mayhem City, with the Golden Shield gas station located in the centre of the board in sector 5. For those of you who are curious to know what the impressive looking building at the centre back is I can tell you that it is a 3D jigsaw of the Quebec City Hall. This was a present for me from my parents when they last visited Canada. It only shows the front of the building and a small part of the sides. I don't know what scale it is, but it is certainly a lot smaller than 28mm scale. However, it makes a canny backdrop and works well in a city centre environment. It's just a shame it wasn't three feet long to cover all of the back of my board.
This photo shows the main street running from the west at the bottom to the east at the top. It was when I was placing the white single-decker bus that I realised I had placed my vehicles facing the wrong way. I had totally forgotten that Americans drive on the "wrong" side of the road. Ooops!
The reverse view of the same street, this time running from east at the bottom to west at the top. The pieces of the 3D jigsaw are made of foamboard and this photo gives you a good view of the 3D nature of it. I like 3D jigsaws. Actually, I like all jigsaws.
"Yo, homey! We're taking your wheels! Hand over the keys and step away from the vehicle or I will pop a cap in your muthafucking ass!"
"You tell him, Leroy. You tell him."
As Vampifan walked round to the gas pump, two black youths, Leroy Watts and Randy Pearlman, accosted him. Leroy wore a red bandana on his head as part of his gang colours. The two teenagers were armed with a 9mm pistol apiece and they were deadly serious about their intention.
Here's where things got real interesting! By coming to this location third, Vampifan automatically activated a Robbery encounter (see p.71). I first rolled to see how many robbers would appear using the Gang column of the How Many table (see p.62) I rolled a 3, which was modified to a 4 for being in an urban area, for a result of PG+1 (PG = Player Group). The robbers consisted of two Rep:3 Gangers, (pre-generated by me) who were placed 2" away from Vampifan, in sight and in no cover. They were automatically classed as Enemies (see p.64) of Vampifan.
"You have got to be kidding me!" Vampifan replied as he drew his katana from its sheath. With a scream of "KIAI!" he charged at the two gangstas.
This encounter had to be resolved before rolling for activation. First of all, the leader of both sides had to make a People Challenge. Vampifan had a People score of 4, whilst Leroy had a score of 1. Vampifan won the Challenge by 2-0. At this point he could hand over the truck (no way!) or he could initiate combat with an In Sight test, with Vampifan counting as Inactive. To take an In Sight test, all figures involved rolls 1d6 per level of their Rep. This number is modified by circumstances (see p.17). In this case, Vampifan had no modifiers but the Gangers suffered a -1 penalty to their Reps for being Active. Whoever scores the most successes (rolls of 1, 2 or 3) goes first. Vampifan scored 2 successes, Leroy scored 1 success and Randy scored 0 successes.To ease play, a die is placed next to each figure, showing how many successes they scored. I use white dice for this purpose.
Vampifan wanted to Charge Into Melee, but first he had to take the Citizens' Brown Pants test (see p.17). He rolled a 2 on 1d6, which was less than or equal to his Rep, so he'd passed the test. For the Charge Into Melee test, Vampifan was again hindered by suffering a -1d6 penalty for being a Citizen. He only rolled 1d6 and each of the Gangers rolled 2d6. However, luck was on Vampifan's side. He won the roll off by 1-0 against Leroy and drew 1-1 against Randy. This meant he could charge Leroy and Leroy was not allowed to fire back at Vampifan. However, in the second combat, Randy was allowed to fire one shot at Vampifan before the melee began. Randy rolled a 2, which was added to his Shooting score of 3 for a result of 5. This was a clear miss (see p.26).
Randy Pearlman must have been at the back of the queue when God was handing brains out. He totally panicked and fired off a single round at Vampifan. Fortunately, the bullet went way too high, not only missing Vampifan but more importantly, any of the gas pumps. Anyone who discharged a firearm in Mayhem City had consequences to face. First of all, it inevitably attracted police attention and secondly, it could potentially attract the attention of any zombies nearby. Sure enough, from an alleyway across the street, a lone zombie shuffled into view, his dead eyes fixated on the rash youth.
The noise of gunfire is one of the ways to attract zombies (see p.46). Every time a shot is fired you should immediately roll 1d6. In an urban area a roll of 4-6 meant that one zombie was generated. The rules for Placing The Zombies (see p.46) suggests rolling 1d6, doubling the score and consulting the clock face diagram on that page to see where the zombie is placed. This only gives 6 possible locations. In my house rules I will roll 1d12 instead of 1d6 to give me twice as many possible locations. I rolled a 6 on the 1d12 and placed my zombie 12" away from Randy at the six o'clock spot just inside the alley behind the gangsta.
Vampifan parried Leroy's pistol away from him with the flat side of his katana, then he quickly jabbed the sword's pommel into the gangsta's forehead. Leroy went out like a light and was unconcious before he hit the ground. Randy, the idiotic punk who had shot at him, would not be treated so mercifully. Vampifan thrust the katana into Randy's stomach and pushed it all the way to the hilt. Randy slowly dropped to his knees, as Vampifan withdrew the blade. Trying desperately to staunch the flow of blood. Randy immediately dropped his pistol so that he could use both hands to clutch at his ruptured stomach.
Both combats went exactly the same way. Vampifan rolled 5d6 (3d6 for his Melee score plus a bonus of 2d6 for using a two-handed weapon). The Gangers had Melee scores of 3, but suffered a -1d6 penalty for being unarmed. Note that the rules for Improvised Weapons states that a two-handed ranged weapon (like a rifle) counts as an Improvised Weapon, but a one-handed ranged weapon (like a pistol) does not (see p.29). Vampifan won both combats by 2-0 and in each case, he scored a Knocked Down result. The two gangstas each passed 1d6 on the Recover From Knock Down test and thus were Out Of the Fight. They should not have picked on Vampifan!
TURN 1. Activation - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 1.
The zombie began to cross the road. He now had the smell of blood in his nostrils and he was hungry!
TURN 2. Activation - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 2, Cops =4.
Note that if three or more groups appear in a turn, nominate one group to roll with the Zombie group (if present) for the purposes of rolling doubles. In my case, I'll almost always choose Vampifan.
Whenever shots are fired during days 1-10 of the Outbreak, the Police will turn up to investigate the shooting in 1d3 turns. In this instance, it took 2 turns for a patrol car with 2 cops (one Rep:4, the other Rep:3) to arrive on the scene.
Alerted by the garage owner that shots had been fired, a policer cruiser pulled up just outside the entrance to the gas station. Patrolman Stavros Katsirdakis and his young partner, Rookie Patrolman Mike Shelly alighted their vehicle. Taking in the scene in front of them, they both drew their pistols and pointed them at Vampifan.
"Drop your weapon!" ordered Katsirdakis in a commanding voice.
Vampifan turned towards them, still holding his katana in both hands, the blade pointed at the ground.
"Officers, I can explain," he stated calmly. "It was self-defence. They open fired on me. Check the garage's CCTV. That'll confirm I'm telling the truth."
It was now time to roll on the Meet and Greet table (see p.63). The leader of both sides rolled 1d6 per point of their Rep. However, Vampifan suffered a -1d6 penalty because he was outnumbered by two to one. Looking for successes (scores of 1-3), Vampifan scored 2 successes, as did Patrolman Katsirdakis. Checking the Police Results table (see p.64) a result of "player scored the same" meant that pleasantries were exchanged between both sides and the current ER (Encounter Rating) of this area was immediately reduced from 5 to 4. In essence, the police believed Vampifan. I figured that Katsirdakis recognised Leroy Watts as a known criminal with previous form.
The zombie moved next to the prone Randy Pearlman, who was now writhing in agony on the ground. He knelt down and grabbed Randy's head in both hands. To the utter astonishment of all the bystanders, the zombie bit a large chunk of flesh from Randy's right cheek and swallowed it. Randy's screams rose in pitch as he tried to pull free but the zombie's grip was too tight.
Whenever a zombie sees a human fall Stunned, Out Of the Fight or Obviously Dead it will move next to the victim to feast upon their flesh (see p.48). Roll 1d6 and place the die next to the victim to show how long the zombie will spend feasting. I always use red dice to show how long the feast will last. The number on the die is reduced by one each turn afterwards until it reaches zero. At this point, remove the die. The zombie will then move off in a random direction like those found on a clockface (see p.46).
"Oh, man, that is just gross!" Patrolman Katsirdakis said, backing away from the scene.
"For God's sake, get back in the car!" Rookie Shelly screamed.
They quickly turned tail, seeking the safety of their patrol car. Vampifan just stood mesmerised.
The first time a human sees a zombie feasting upon a victim within 6" of them, they must take the See The Feast test (see p.49) and roll 2d6 against their Rep. Once the test has been passed it need never be taken again. Fortunately, Vampifan passed 2d6 and the cops passed 1d6 on the test (see the Universal Reaction tests on the Quick Reference Sheets). Vampifan was Stunned and unable to act when he next activated. Katsirdakis and Shelly had to Duck Back and were Stunned for 1d3 turns. I rolled a 2 for them both.
TURN 3. Activation - Vampifan = 1, Zombies = 3, Police = 4
Vampifan and the two patrolmen were simply too shocked to move. This was all far too surreal for them.
The zombie turned his attention to Randy's neck and clamped his jaws upon his victim's throat. A geyser of hot blood spurted in a huge arc from the gaping wound made by the ravenous zombie.
TURN 4. Activation - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 3, Cops = 3
The zombie continued to chew upon Randy's neck and gulped down the blood that was still fountaining, as Randy's heart carried on pumping, although weaker now and not for much longer.
"This can't go on," Vampifan thought. "I have to stop him."
He took a few steps to get to the left side of the zombie and with a swift swing from his katana ended the grisly feasting by decapitating the zombie.
First, Vampifan passed the Citizen's Brown Pants test. He drew 1-1 on the Charge Into Melee test. Then he won 4-1 on the Melee Combat test and ended up with an Obviously Dead result for damage.
TURN 5. Activation - Vampifan = 6, Police = 2.
Katsirdakis and Shelly stepped back outside and approached Vampifan at a slow pace. Respect and gratitude showed on their faces.
"Sir, if you could leave us your contact details you're free to go home," Katsirdakis said. "We'll sort this mess out."
"Thank you, sir," Vampifan replied gratefully. "You guys take care out there. This world has changed. I do believe the Apocalypse is here."
This brought an end to Vampifan's third encounter of the day. He filled up his gas tank and headed for home.
PART FOUR - HOME
Vampifan had moved out of the urban environs of Mayhem City and was now in the suburb of Springvale. He lived in a semi-detached house and as he approached it, a feeling of relief washed over him. But the day wasn't over yet.
For the final time I rolled on the Get There table and happily, Vampifan passed 2d6. Despite many traffic jams that were blighting Mayhem City on this particular day, he got home in good time. Next, I rolled 1d6 on the Contact Days 1-10 table for a result of terrified citizens. Rolling on the How Many table I was pleased to see that there was only one. He was placed a mere 1" away from the front door of Vampifan's home.
The photo above shows a very small part of Springvale, one of many suburbs of Mayhem City. Vampifan's home can be seen in the centre right of the photo and is the only one with a civilian outside of it. It looks like most folk have heeded the warnings of the police and are staying indoors.
As with the other photos I took of the game boards prior to the action starting, here is a view of the main street running from the west at the bottom of the photo to the east at the top of the photo.
And here is the reverse view. Vampifan's pick-up truck is the only vehicle moving in this rather quiet and peaceful neighbouhood. It looks like Big Sil and Angie are at home because you can see in the bottom right of the photo that the side door of their house is open.
TURN 1. Activation - Vampifan = 4, Civilians = 6.
Vampifan decelerated and made a 180 degree turn
to bring his pick-up truck to a stop outside his house.
TURN 2. Activation - Vampifan = 3, Civilian = 1.
Vampifan got out of his pick-up truck, locked the door and walked towards the front of house. Eyeing the panicked-looking stranger with suspicion, he drew his katana, but only held it in one hand.
"Can I help you, sir?" he asked.
"Get out of my way!" the stranger shouted as he pushed Vampifan to the ground.
As mentioned before, combat with terrified citizens does not involve taking the Charge Into Melee test. Melee combat just automatically happens. This time, Vampifan rolled 4d6 (3d6 for his Melee score plus a 1d6 bonus for using a one-handed weapon), whilst the civilian rolled 2d6 (3d6 for his Melee score minus a 1d6 penalty for being unarmed). Vampifan rolled very badly and lost the combat by 1-0.Yes, he didn't score a single success despite rolling twice as many dice as the civilian. The stranger rolled on the Melee Results table and scored a Knocked Down result. Vampifan rolled on the Recover From Knock Down table and passed 2d6. He was classed as being Stunned and couldn't act for a turn.
TURN 3. Activation - Vampifan = 2, Civilians = 4.
Vampifan lay still for a moment and contemplated the events of the day. It had certainly been a day like no other in his life. The citizen who had knocked him down was long gone as he sped away
TURN 4. Activation - Vampifan = 1, Civilians = 2.
Vampifan stood back up and approached his front door. He unlocked it with a sigh of relief and stepped inside. It was great to get back home.
In all respects, this had been a successful mission for Vampifan, so he was eligible for either a Rep increase or a Skill increase. I decided that a Rep increase would be the better option (see p.71). To qualify for a Rep increase, the character had to have had a successful encounter, killed at least one zombie, not Runaway and not gone Out Of the Fight.Vampifan qualified on all four counts. I rolled 1d6 and scored a 5. This was higher than his current Rep of 4, so he raised his Rep by one level to Rep:5. That was great news but it got even better. To become a Survivor before the 21st day of the Outbreak, a character must pass three "milestones" (see p.9). Under the Citizen No More rules Vampifan had to have killed at least three zombies, have had combat with an armed character and caused him damage (this could be either ranged combat or melee combat) and finally, have taken and successfully passed the See The Feast test. Vampifan qualified on all three counts. So, in the space of a few hours he went from a Rep:4 Civilian to a Rep:5 Survivor. On top of that, he was now armed with his BA Pistol (normally kept at home) and his katana. Plus, he came home with four Luxury Items and one lot of Medical Supplies. I could not have asked for a better start for Vampifan.